Christmas: Extravagant Gifts From God

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…

There are days I wake up and simply marvel in delight like a young boy on Christmas morning after opening the many gifts which have been waiting for him under the decorated tree. Which one do I focus on?

When I stop and begin to count the extraordinary blessings given to us by our Creator God, I am likewise gratefully in awe. In hindsight, those gifts were always there but not recognized until the time came for our eyes to be open, our heart to be captured, and our mind a blazed at the wonder of His generosity and personalized attention to details. He bestows upon us what we need when we need where we need how we need before we even know we need. He anticipates our every need and want before we even arrive to the moment or before we even ask him.

I’ve listed some of His gifts to us that crossed my mind today while reading the Book of Ephesians.

  • Chosen by God in Christ to be holy and blameless before Him (Eph. 1:4)
  • Adopted into His family (Eph 1:5)
  • Grace or unmerited favor overflowing upon us in Christ (Eph 1:6,8)
  • Redemption which means immediate, direct contact with Him (Eph 1:7)
  • Forgiveness of our sins (Eph 1:7)
  • Wisdom and insight into His plan for humanity (Eph 1:8,10)
  • Purposeful living (Eph 1:9)
  • Eternal inheritance (Eph 1:11)
  • Hope in Christ in everything we do (Eph 1:12)
  • Worship and praise the true God (Eph 1:12)
  • Sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13)
  • Guaranteed eternal life (Eph 1:14)
  • Knowledge of Jesus Christ and His significance (Eph 1:15-23)
  • Seated with Christ at His table (Eph 2:6)
  • God’s workmanship (Eph 2:10)
  • Peace in Christ (Eph 2:14)
  • Reconciled to God (Eph 2:16)
  • Citizens and Saints in God’s House (Eph 2:19)
  • Temple of God (Eph 2:22)
  • Boldness & Confidence (Eph 3:12)
  • Power through his Spirit (Eph 3:16)
  • Christ actively living in me (Eph 3:17)
  • Rooted and grounded in love (Eph 3:17)
  • Filled with the fullness of God (Eph 3:19)
  • Access to abundance (Eph 3:20)

You could easily add more to your personal list. But I am sure we can agree He is the most generous and caring Father none of us deserve but are grateful He is ours. 

I wish you and your family a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

Available for Your Devotional Study: 

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Spiritual Awakening

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Is God knocking on your door?

I am always amazed at how our beloved Creator consistently pursues each person until they arrive at a place in life where they have to make a choice. The decision is whether or not God is for real.

For if God is not real, then you & I can live one’s life being #1. We then can also easily justify combating all others who may want to challenge our seat of authority and power. But if God is real and the creator and owner of the universe, which includes all space and matter, then we are HIS creation and subject to HIS decree. Otherwise, we are in rebellion and face the wrath of the government HE leads.

Yes, Jesus knocks on everyone’s door in their lifetime. Yet, because of the noise in our life, we may not hear. We may become, with the everyday struggles of making a living, or preoccupied with enjoying the music and sounds around us, unaware of the doorbell ringing. Yet when life quiets down, and we find ourselves alone without tasks to perform or people to entertain, reality slowing invades our world.

Sometimes when trauma occurs, one realizes their need for help. When a loved one passes away, we are reminded of our mortality. When a relationship turns sour, the pain of upside-down love tears at our heart. When we accomplish a major goal in life, we stop and ask if this is all there is. When we experience the best of the best, is that as good as it gets? Or could there be more about life than the accumulation of wealth, power, and fame?

Each of us has a hole that is longing for fulfillment. We chase after dreams, goals, and relationships thinking we will find full satisfaction upon their accomplishments. But when achieved, we stop realizing we are not yet fully satisfied, we want more. So, like a greedy two-year-old that wants too much, they seek more. But the end result is the same. More money, more power, more fame, more, more, more, and more soon comes the realization that more of the same isn’t the answer.

Without God, there is only the physical world of matter. But with God, the physical world is only a portion of reality. God is Spirit and also lives in a spiritual dimension. When one comes to realize that man needs not only the physical to prosper, but also the spiritual (MT. 4:4) to become a complete person, then a whole new world opens up.

Now the spiritual world can be a dangerous place without proper guidance. Ignorance is bliss until reality slaps one’s face.

When Jesus knocks on your door, HE is letting you know he wants to have a personal relationship with you. He is inviting you to his table. He wants to spend time with you and share HIS life with you and you share your life with HIM. In this relationship, HE provides you with the guidance, support, and wisdom to help you lead a full and abundant life.

Someone once told me that us humans are like the wicks of dynamite. Some of us have short wicks and others have long wicks. But when lit, the spark burns along the wick until the dynamite explodes. People are the same way. Some catch the fire, and their world quickly explodes. Others have to wait for the spark to hit the center of the trigger before they experience the new life.

God uses different means and different vehicles to draw us to HIM. But each one begins with us having our eyes open to the spiritual dimension around us. When that happens, then we need to choose which Spirit to follow. I, like many others before and now, believe Jesus Christ is the central core of God’s creation. When you come to know HIM, than you discover all your travels include HIM. Yet some roads are substantially more rewarding than others. But with HIM being the center-focus, the Spiritual dimension of life aligns with the physical and the physical with the spiritual.

And yes, when you actually catch God’s Spirit, you will begin to experience a more enriching physical life without the trappings of carnal passions. You awake to a world of beautiful-good but also realize the inhuman evil and ugliness around you. But with God, you are able to put everything in better perspective to help you navigate through life.

Isn’t it interesting how God’s plan from the beginning of time is to unite the physical with the spiritual (Rev 21:1-7) into one world?

If Jesus is knocking on your door, I hope you have the courage to open the door and start a relationship with HIM.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler  

Available for Your Devotional Study: 

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Copyright 2013-Present | Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christmas: Dual Citizenship

Philippians 3:20

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (ESV)

Yes, Israel’s Messiah, Humanity’s Savior, and Earth’s King has arrived. God’s commitment from the beginning of time arrived unto the world stage revealed through one Man – Jesus Christ. The Christmas story portrays heaven’s royalty in humbling surroundings. Yes, the narrative highlights God’s values toward people.

If you and I produced a worldly version of such a movie, it would be with great pompous celebration with no limited expense. For those who can recall, it would make the year 2000 worldwide New Year’s celebration a total dud. But God does real life stories with eternal values being highlighted. The end result is a taste of God’s character on full display. Jesus’ birth, life, and ascension into heaven is a prime example.

Jesus’ arrival on earth came within a “blue collar” family under the religious law where his mother and him (in the womb) could have been stone to death (from the beginning of conception, HE lived a life constantly threaten by outside political & religious forces). Thereafter he lived for some thirty plus years under the worldly religious title of “bastard”. Joseph wasn’t his biological father but accepted him as his son. His entire life was lived out among the people and not within royal gates. Yet after fulfilling his earthly mission by defeating Satan’s rule, laying the foundation for an earthly Church, and providing the means for unifying humanity under HIS authority as Earth’s new King, HE ascended into heaven to await the completion of all things prior to HIS scheduled return.

Yes, our King Jesus has granted us citizenship into HIS Kingdom. As citizens, we have all rights and privileges granted by HIM as outlined throughout the written gospels and letters collected together within the pages of the Bible. The apostle Paul refers us as ambassadors on behalf of Christ. We represent for those around us Jesus Christ’s government – the Kingdom of God.  For most of us, we have a dual citizenship. Our allegiance is first to Christ, then to our local government. Yes, we give the government the things that are theirs, and God the things that are HIS (Mark 12:17).

Christmas is about the stage entrance of heaven and earth’s final King. One day HE will plant his throne in the new Jerusalem and govern all nations and tribes. Those around HIM will have been proven through life’s tests to be faithful and competent in service to HIM and HIS subjects. Until then, we wait with patience being HIS ambassadors to a rebellious world lost in their ignorance of HIS Incarnation and macro mission for humanity. Christmas is a reminder to the world that their future King has arrived.

Merry Christmas!!    


Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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